– why are we teaching this?
We offer an ambitious Art and Design curriculum, which is shaped to reflect the needs of our pupils and develop their confidence to express themselves through a wide range of media and methods, including drawing, painting, collage and 3D materials. Children are encouraged to see the opportunities that a career in Art and Design can bring.
Art is closely linked across the curriculum, so that pupils can link their experiences to their broader understanding of the world. Art topics are planned to coincide with topics covered in Geography, History, RE, PSHE and Science to maximise curriculum links. Each year group completes an in-depth study of an artist and as they move through the school, children are able to articulate about artists and why they work the way they do.
Children are given opportunities to explore the details of shape, tone, colour and pattern in the world around them and give them the skills to reproduce those details in an artwork. At the same time, children develop and build their hand/eye co-ordination and fine motor skills which gradually builds year on year, to allow children to use tools and manipulate materials with intent and purpose.
Children learn how artistic endeavours have developed over the course of human history and understand that creativity is an important tool for self-expression. They are taught to understand why people make art, how artists’ and designers personal experiences shape the images/products that they create and how manipulation of tools (such as paints, pastels or oils) and techniques (mark-making, printing, collage) can emphasise emotions and feelings within a piece of artwork. Children learn about influences from other cultures and develop an understanding of their uses and functions within those cultures.
Children visit art galleries, explore the work of local artists and engage in making art to express their emotions. There are a wide range of artists and cultures studied (including BAME artists) to provide a range of cultural viewpoints. Several Art and Design projects across the Key Stages use recycled materials, therefore helping our children to consider the environmental implications of their work.
enables them to want to learn and enjoy creating work that allows them to reach a high standard in all areas of the curriculum, with enough time given for researching, discussing, exploring and refining. This gives them the confidence to take risks and ‘have a go’ encouraged in all areas of the Art curriculum.
The Margaret Wix community is diverse and we understand the vital need for representation within our teaching. We ensure diversity across the curriculum: careful thought and planning has gone into selecting whose stories we tell and how they are told. Our curriculum has been re-examined and we have endeavoured to reduce the western bias. We strive to ensure that BAME pupils see themselves reflected in our curriculum, all year round. We call our personalised curriculum ‘The Wix Way’. In art, this includes learning about a variety of artists from different cultures.
Knowledge and skills are sequenced to build on prior learning and the subjects are taught through a half-termly topic focus. Long term planning contains an equal distribution of Art topics for each subject per academic year. Both are usually timetabled with weekly lessons, although some teachers prefer to teach certain sections of their topics as a block, to aid access to materials and media, for example in collage or 3D form.
Brush and pencil control is a key focus for every year group, and both demonstrate that children are able to create artwork with specific intent. Prior learning is revisited at the start of every topic.
Children are taught to use a range of tools including scissors, printing rollers as well as different painting media.
As well as this, children are progressively challenged to consider their own work, questioning their own methods and how their work and ideas could be improved. Support is given by providing demonstrations of techniques and skills and one-to-one help when needed, whilst also allowing children adequate time to complete their work to a good standard.
If topics need to be moved to fit in with, for example, trips and other enrichment opportunities, teachers can use the long-term plan to decide how they can rearrange, but still retain good links across the curriculum. Medium-term plans map out the individual topics and give more detail and ideas for in-depth writing and enrichment opportunities as well as thorough links across the wider curriculum.
Curriculum enrichment opportunities are extensive. Arts Week, a whole school initiative, takes place each year. There are also a variety of outdoor drawing activities planned across the Key Stages. Where possible visits made to galleries and the local area are linked to Art and Design as well as other subjects to give the children experience of a wider scope for inspiration.
Children are frequently given opportunities to ‘have a go’ at applying their learning in new contexts and encouraged to recognise mistakes as a useful, positive part of the learning process. Our whole school culture promotes creativity, resilience, individuality, questioning and deep thinking.
It is demonstrated through the success of our learners and their confidence to demonstrate the knowledge they have retained over time, as well as their readiness for the next stage in education and for life in the wider world. We wish for our children to leave Margaret Wix with the knowledge that Art and Design is simply another language that we can use to articulate ideas and that everyone is capable of creating interesting, individual and exciting pieces of art and design work, no matter what their skill level.
Marking and feedback provides ongoing assessment information which is used to shape future teaching. Children are assessed formally at the end of each term and phase in their understanding of the key knowledge and skills covered and use of vocabulary. We use knowledge organisers for each skill area of Art.